At the recent ICANN Singapore meeting the Board approved a plan that opens the doors to a dramatic expansion in the number of available top level domains (TLDs). TLDs, .com for example, are approved and regulated by this international governing body.
According to news reports ICANN will accept applications from registries that want to operate new top-level domains from January 12, 2012 to April 12, 2012.
The application fee is a staggering $185,000, with ongoing costs of $25,000 per annum to operate the registry.
There has been much debate over whether or not ICANN’s move will: a) engender an explosion in the number of TLDs, and b) if those who do move to establish these new registries will make a ripple in the domain market.
In an NPR interview former ICANN Board Chair Esther Dyson commented: “I think it’s kind of a useless market,” she says, “and if I had $185,000, I’d spend it on something else.”
While the jury is still out, many within the domain industry do not expect to see significant changes.
Andrew Allemann of DomainNameWire.com wrote:
“I wouldn’t discourage a brand from applying for a top level domain name. The price is peanuts to a big company. But let’s not pretend examples like this — which I hear over and over — are something that is only enabled with the introduction of new TLDs. Will there be innovation with new TLDs? It’s entirely possible. I just hate to hear examples of innovation that aren’t innovative.”
Respected journalist Ron Jackson of DNJournal.com offered this opinion on ICANN’s move:
“…as I have said in the past, is that there is no need for countless new TLDs. ICANN has come up with a solution for a “problem” that doesn’t exist.”
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